As technologically-advanced inhabitants of modern earth, it’s easy for us to take light for granted. However, light and the way we use it can profoundly affect our lives in ways that often go unseen, affecting our perceptions of ourselves, our surroundings, works of art, and our outlooks. Below are some insightful observations regarding the nature of light by some of the world’s most accredited actors, writers, and designers.
Lighting has an important effect on aesthetics. Proper lighting can greatly enhance (or greatly detract) from a person’s physical appearance or the atmosphere of a room.
“There is one fundamental fact about lighting: Where there is no light, there is no beauty.”
– Billy Baldwin, Actor
“I find great lighting and a squint of the eyes makes anyone look better.”
– Cat Deeley, Actress/Singer/Model
“I love lamps. I can’t stand overhead lighting. I have to have everything on a dimmer.”
– Kate Spade, Designer
Lighting can also affect our moods and senses of well-being. The right amount of lighting can make an ordinary place seem almost magical.
“The quality of the light around us has a profound effect on our well-being that should not be underestimated.”
– Thomas Fuchs, Designer
“A room is like a stage. If you see it without lighting, it can be the coldest place in the world.”
– Paul Lynde, Actor/Comedian
“I’m a firm believer that lighting affects mood, and twinkly lights on strings bring something magical to occasions ranging from concerts to weddings, though I’m fond of using them as year-round home decor. There’s a reason why they’re sometimes called fairy lights. When the night is right, there aren’t any strings at all.”
– Erin Morgenstern, Writer
We also underestimate the effect that lighting has on the way we feel about our favorite movies. Consider the contrast between the bright, colorful beauty of the ocean in Finding Nemo to the dimly lit, dreary settings of the latter (and more sinister) Harry Potter movies.
“Lighting is vital. Without that they’ve got nothing. And, of course, color and texture. When they showed me a little piece of Finding Nemo, I said this has got to be the biggest hit.”
– Joe Grant, Writer
“So much of movie acting is in the lighting, and in loving your characters. I try to know them, and with that intimacy comes love. And now, I love Voldemort.”
– Ralph Fiennes, Actor
Most importantly, lighting is all about perception. That’s why we often use lighting metaphors to describe a positive or negative outlook on life.
“Freedom is just Chaos with better lighting.”
– Alan Dean Foster, Writer
“The secret to life is to put yourself in the right lighting.”
– Susan Cain, Writer